Today, I want to talk about some fishing techniques that have come and gone, based on the newer baits and tackle, but still can be very effective today.
Thirty years ago, all you heard the pros talking about was worm fishing with the new Carolina Rig and how it was “so good” on catching BIG bass. Well, now you don’t hear that much about the pros throwing the rig anymore.
But I’m still a strong believer in the technique and its effectiveness. This was proven last week when a friend of mine landed a 10-pound, 4-ounce monster on Stillhouse Hollow Lake using this “old” technique.
I and several of the guys in my bass club use it and modified versions of it to catch bass all over Central Texas. Some of these modified versions have brought some big fish to the scales in our club tournaments.
Let’s discuss a few of the modified versions and how to rig them.
The split shot version is so simple it makes you hit your forehead and say, “Darn, why didn’t I think of that?” You rig your worm, creature bait or craw weed less by slightly embedding the hook in the body of the bait. You tie it on with a 8-20 pound test fluorocarbon leader, based on water clarity, tied to a swivel that then the swivel gets tied to your main line, mono or braid.
Then you take a splitshot, size and weight of your choice and pinch it on just above the swivel and — voila — the modified version 1. I call this the Howard Rig because that’s the name of the guy who showed me the technique and, trust me, Howard has brought some good fish to the scales using it in the back of my boat.
Slip sinker/Peg version: This version is putting a slip sinker on your main line then tying the creature bait or worm directly to the main line coming off your reel. Again, you slightly embed the hook back into the worm or creature bait to make it weed less. You then move the slip sinker up the line 18-24 inches and peg it with the rubber line pegs so that it doesn’t slip on the line.
This technique is also so simple that it another slap on the forehead. Are you starting to get a little head on your forehead yet?
The no-weight method: You tie the small swivel to your main line braid. Then tie a 12-18 inch fluorocarbon leader, test you determine to be the best for the water clarity and what you are fishing, then tie on a 4/0 or 5/0 wide gap worm hook and add your worm or creature and either cast it or flip it right into the bushes near the shore or on trees in the main lake and let the bait slowly flutter to the bottom.
Using your rod tip, make it dance at the bottom then lift it and let it flutter back down. Then reel it in about 5 feet and flutter it with your rod tip at that level. Continue this technique until you have it back to the boat, if you make it that far before you have a fish on.
The next techniques were taught to me many, many years ago when I was just beginning to tournament bass fish. I call this technique “Bump and Grind.” You tie a ½ to ¾ ounce ball casting lead weight to your main line. Then you tie a 1- to 2-foot leader to the other side of the ball weight and tie a small floating crank bait to the end of the leader. You cast it a country mile and let it sink till the weight hits the bottom.
Let it sit for a moment then jerk it 3 or 4 feet and let it settle back to the bottom, wait a few seconds then jerk it again and let it settle back to the bottom. I’ve seen numerous huge fish caught using this technique on the muddy bottomed Chickahominy River in Virginia.
Here in Texas, with the rocky bottoms, you have to be careful or your lead weight will get caught between the rocks and then it is all over. Today Cabela’s Depth Runner weight system is similar, but it uses a short wire with snap hook to tie hook on the crank bait.
All in all, I guess what I am trying to get across is the old techniques are just as effective today as they were when they were first introduced if you use them and gain confidence in them.
Take the time to look at what you are doing and stop and think about “well, what can I do to this technique that will make it a little unusual and present the bait to the bass a little differently than what they are seeing daily by other fishermen?”
If you modify a technique and use it and it’s successful, keep using it, if it doesn’t produce, then discard it. However make sure you have given it plenty of cast to make sure that you don’t give up on it too quick. If successful, it’s your secret weapon and your new technique may become the next BIG thing.
When you do use a new techniques and it works for you and you feel up to sharing it with other fishermen, let me know by dropping me an email at Hook_up66@yahoo.com and, if approved by you, I will share that technique with the rest of the Central Texas fishermen.
Now get to thinking and trying and catch a big 'un.
Jasper Johnson is the Copperas Cove Bass Club secretary. To contact him about the club or for any questions, call 318-218-0358 or email Hook_up@yahoo.com.